Up and coming music industry inventions 


Iain Russell, Founder and Director of Russell IP shares some of the interesting music industry patents that he featured on his Patents Rock® site in November.

A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention. At the start of each month, Iain compiles a short list of all the Rockin’ Patents® that he’s featured in the previous month. We thought that you might like to see some of the up and coming, innovative things that music industry companies are inventing, as well as older and more unusual inventions.

Kano Computing Ltd’s “Touch Sensitive Audio-Visual Input/Output Device”

What’s claimed?  ”A touch sensitive audio-visual input/output device comprising: i. an internal core comprising: a. A controller, the controller associated with at least one processor and at least one memory store; b. At least one light emitter associated with the controller; c. At least one audio output component associated with the controller; d. At least one actuator provided relative to the housing and associated with the controller and configured to transmit touch inputs to the controller to control operation of the device; and ii. a flexible, translucent outer casing for at least partially enclosing the internal core.”

Why this patent rocks: This patent application (at the time of writing this post, a patent has not been granted) seems to relate to Kanye West’s ‘Donda Stem Player’ that was released alongside his album ‘Donda’ in August 2021. It seems that West has collaborated with computing company Kano Computing Ltd to create the device. It allows users to customise tracks; isolating vocals, drums, bass and sample stems. You can load your own music into the player and download new content. If you would like to know more about the device, see here.

Paisley Park Entreprises’ “Portable, Electronic Keyboard”

What’s claimed? ”The ornamental design for portable electronic keyboard musical instrument, as shown and described.”

Why this design patent rocks: This design patent relates to the late artist Prince’s guitar-keyboard hybrid dubbed the “Purpleaxxe.” See here if you’re curious to know more about the ‘keytar’ and its appearances at Prince’s shows.

Artiphon Inc’s “Ergonomic Electronic Musical Instrument With Pseudo-strings”

What’s claimed? ”A musical device comprising: a body having a plurality of triggers and ergonomic features correlating to at least two-stringed instruments that are played using different playing techniques, the ergonomic features further comprising a neck having an underside, the underside having a smaller neck outline inset from a larger neck outline, wherein the smaller neck outline provides a thumb-rest that approximates the width of violin’s neck and the larger neck outline approximates the width of a guitar’s neck; a plurality of sensors; at least one trigger that is associated with at least one of the plurality of sensors for tactile user input; a switch to toggle the device between the at least two playing techniques, wherein each of the at least two playing techniques comprises receiving different tactile user input; and wherein the ergonomic features of the body of the device allow the user to hold the device in positions familiar to musicians of the at least two stringed instruments.”

Why this patent rocks: This patent appears to relate to Ariphon Inc’s ‘Instrument 1’; a MIDI controller that allows you to strum, bow, tap, slide, and drum any sound on a single interface. It appears that the device is pressure- and force-sensitive and can be held and handled consistently with playing techniques of multiple instruments. It also appears to connect directly to MIDI devices and amplifiers. If you’re curious to watch the Instrument 1 in action, see here.

If you’re a patent-savvy music tech business looking for patent help, get in touch with Russell IP here!